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Current favorites of Southern indie booksellers. [FULL LIST]

Fiction

Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood

Ali Hazelwood has quickly worked her way to being a favorite Romance author, for myself and many other readers. Mixing STEM, Feminism and romance is her recipe for her superb romances. Love on the Brain follows Bee, a strong willed and smart scientist as she embarks on a project partnered with NASA that just might turn her career around. An awful break-up changed the course of her career choices previously, but she is back stronger then ever about to show her stuff! However, her college nemesis Levi ends up being her partner for this project. You don’t have to be a science lover to appreciate Bee’s resilience in a male dominated career and to enjoy her nerdy, flirty, and powerful love story unfold.

Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood, (List Price: $17.00, Berkley, 9780593336847,  August 2022)

Reviewed by Lillian Kay, Novel in Memphis, Tennessee

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna

Mandanna’s novel is reminiscent of timeless stories like Mary Poppins, Nanny McPhee, and Practical Magic. It’s heartfelt, hilarious, vulnerable and cozy. The characters in Nowhere House are sure to make you smile and believe in magic again. It made my nostalgic, witchy cottagecore heart so happy.

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna, (List Price: $16.00, Berkley, 9780593439357,  August 2022)

Reviewed by Miriam Meeks, Lemuria Books in Jackson, Mississippi

Sugar and Salt by Susan Wiggs

I so enjoyed reading this book. The story centers around Margie Slinas/Margo Salton and jumps from present to past to see how Margie evolved into a first rate barbecue chef named Margot. She decides to open a barbecue restaurant and names it Salt. Margot shares the building with a bakery named Sugar. She begins a relationship with one of the owners, Jerome. As their relationship progresses and Margot starts to fall in love with Jerome, she know it’s time to tell him about her past as Marjorie Salinas. While some of the parts of the book were a bit rough, it was a great story filled with love and redemption.

Sugar and Salt by Susan Wiggs, (List Price: $27.99, William Morrow, 9780062914224, July 2022)

Reviewed by Pam Crawford, Bookmiser in Marietta, Georgia

Nonfiction

Flip It Like This! by David Hayward

David Hayward, @NakedPastor, has brought his wit, his artistic skill, and his frankness into Flip It Like This! This book is for anyone who has ever questioned their faith, been undermined by their experiences, or turned away because of who they are. Within these simple pages holds the passion and love of an artist that is screaming out: I See you and I love you.

Flip It Like This! by David Hayward, (List Price: $19.99, Broadleaf Books, 9781506484723, July 2022)

Reviewed by Gretchen Shuler, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina

We’re Not Broken by Eric Garcia

As a neurotypical person, I learned so much from We’re Not Broken. Given that Eric is a reporter for a living, it shouldn’t be a surprise that this is such a well-researched book. The author is also a friend, and I’m so proud of this fantastic book he’s written — not only for bravely telling his story, but also for, as he writes in the book, bringing as many autistic people along with him as he can.

We’re Not Broken by Eric Garcia, (List Price: $16.99, Harvest, 9780358697145, August 2022)

Reviewed by Emily Liner, Friendly City Books in Columbus, Mississippi

Do the Work! by W. Kamau Bell

I’ve been a W. Kamau Bell fan for a while, so seeing that this book was coming was really exciting! It delivers exactly the combination of smart racial commentary and screwball energy that he brings to his comedy, packaged in endearing cartoons, graphics, and even activities like Mad Libs and crosswords. The informational parts of the book are well-cited with great further reading recommendations and benefit greatly from the conversational form between Bell and co-author Kate Schatz, both of whom are very good at maintaining levity while getting their points across crystal clear. This would be an excellent gift!

Do the Work! by W. Kamau Bell, (List Price: $22.95, Workman Publishing Company, 9781523514281, July 2022)

Reviewed by Akil Guruparan, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

Children/YA

Pizza! by Greg Pizzoli

Okay, here is the non-fiction picture book I’ve been craving… I mean, it’s Pizza! A Slice of History! I can’t imagine any kid turning this one down for it’s subject matter alone, but topped with the vibrant illustrations of award-winning favorite, Greg Pizzoli? A real treat.

Pizza! by Greg Pizzoli, (List Price: $18.99, Viking Books for Young Readers, 9780425291078,  August 2022)

Reviewed by Cristina Russell, Books and Books in Coral Gables, Florida

The Mouse Who Carried a House on His Back by Jonathan Stutzman

Whimsical and sweet, The Mouse Who Carried a House on His Back is about acts of kindness and generosity. Beautifully illustrated, and written like a classic fable, this one will make a lovely read-aloud and gift. We should all be so lucky to come across the mouse with boots on his feet, a hat on his head, and a house on his back when we’re in need.

The Mouse Who Carried a House on His Back by Jonathan Stutzman, (List Price: 18.99, Candlewick, 9781536216790, August 2022)

Reviewed by Cristina Russell, Books & Books in Coral Gables, Florida

Lord of the Fly Fest by Goldy Moldavsky

A modern retelling of Lord of the Flies, set in a trash fire of a hipster festival? YES PLEASE. Rafi is a true-crime podcaster on the trail of a hot story who finagles tickets to the exclusive Fly Fest. The headliner is an adored indie musician who may have had something to do with the mysterious disappearance of his first girlfriend and Rafi is determined to get to the bottom of the case. Arriving on the island, hordes of spoiled influencers realize they’ve been set up – there is no food, no shelter, and (gasp!) no wifi! Can they all get out safely? Can Rafi uncover River Stone’s secrets? Can they survive without the constant reassurance of IG likes? Moldavsky has crafted an ingenious update on a classic mini-society gone wrong and I loved every second of it.

Lord of the Fly Fest by Goldy Moldavsky, (List Price: 18.99, Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), 9781250230126, August 2022)

Reviewed by Andrea Richardson, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

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